What to do if a person owes me money and sent me a check for half the amount owed but attached it to a letter stating that by cashing the check I agree that it’s payment in full?

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What to do if a person owes me money and sent me a check for half the amount owed but attached it to a letter stating that by cashing the check I agree that it’s payment in full?

Should I cash it?

Asked on June 11, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, Alabama

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that you can cash the check and not be held to what is written in the letter. In other words, you do not lose your legal rights to pursue payment in full. That having been said, depending on the amount owed, you may just want to cash the check and move on. If not, then you can sue for the remaining balance in small claims court. If you want to sue then write your debtor back and dispute the terms of their letter (keep a copy); this will help you in court.

Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This situation requires you to make a judgment call. Is getting the other half of what you are owed worth the time, expense, and uncertainty of trying to collect it? Do you think you can negotiate with the person to get them to pay more than 50% of what they owe? If it's not worth the hassle, then just cash the check. 


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